News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bombs)

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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby pirxthepilot » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:17 am

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... trump-wall

the wall already exists pretty much, democrats built it
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby starfox64 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:09 pm

pirxthepilot wrote:http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/tomdispatch-operation-streamline-immigration-enforcement-donald-trump-wall

the wall already exists pretty much, democrats built it


this is actually true for a number of his policies. obama deported at a record level, illegal immigration is at a record low, etc.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby adiabatic » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:29 am

bels wrote:
adiabatic wrote:[focusing back on the topic at hand] The flyer is…interesting. Impact ("Step…over") has been on Windows machines since the 90s, but squinting at the R and t and a and r in the smaller text…that's Helvetica, not Arial. This flyer was made on a Mac. I would not have expected that.


This is the whole schtick of the alt-right. They're not old skinhead dudes who drive around in jeeps. They're (advertised as) hip millenials with beards who like memes and watch anime.


Turns out the Richmond flyer-stuffer might be even less like what I first imagined:

Reid said his 24-year-old daughter was leaving their home at about 11 a.m. and “got a good look” at the man as she went through the front door and saw him stuffing the flyer into their mailbox before taking off.

“My daughter said the guy was black, wearing a hoody. She said he was about 24 to 26.

“She was really shocked and found it quite alarming. Her boyfriend is part-Chinese.”


Assuming she's accurately relaying what she thought she saw (p=95%) and her father is too (p=95%), it sounds like we have another false-flag operation on our hands (prior probability was 40% in my mind). The Toronto-area flyers, though, seem more genuine. They're in Arial Black/Times New Roman with straight quotes, not curly quotes. Does anyone here use OpenOffice? If so, does it have curly quotes or straight quotes by default? WordPad on Windows 10 doesn't generate whole-page borders, although the printer driver might've been able to add this in post, so to speak.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby starfox64 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:21 am

as little as i think this will matter, shouldn't the recounts be automatic?

i realize that there are some that are automatic if the decision is too close but still
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Last edited by starfox64 on Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby starfox64 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 11:23 am

also:

Gfycat Video - Click to Play
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby qalandar » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:47 pm

A Hegelian Marxist presents why he thinks trump being elected is a good thing

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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:54 pm



putin's favourite biker gang 'night wolves' opened a new "patriot park" in annexed crimea
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:54 pm

hard brexit (whatever that means) on the ropes, richmond park by-election win for the lib dems, boost to merkel in the polls, hofer loses in austria by a bigger margin than before... european moderates let out a very small sigh....

also lmao at farage being blamed by the FPÖ

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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby ramseames » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:21 am

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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:00 pm

a bit depressing but also fun

The Pessimist’s Guide to 2017 - Bloomberg

Donald Trump and Brexit shocked most of the world in 2016. But not readers of last year’s Bloomberg Pessimist’s Guide, which warned that the unthinkable could happen in both cases. Now the authors are turning their attention to 2017. From social breakdown in the U.S. to a nuclear crisis in North Korea to the defeat of Angela Merkel in Germany, the potential for chaos is just as great. These aren’t predictions. But they show what your social-media news feed could look like if things go wrong.


from last month but worth reading... (long read)

The ruthlessly effective rebranding of Europe’s new far right - Guardian

Across the continent, rightwing populist parties have seized control of the political conversation. How have they done it? By stealing the language, causes and voters of the traditional left.


another one from earlier in the year but pretty relevant considering what's happened in the last few weeks (and power's display at the UN)

The Ambassador From Hell? - Tablet

Samantha Power wrote the book on how the U.S. government ignores and legitimates genocides. Or was it a handbook?

Power’s 600-page book consists largely of case studies of how the United States responded to 20th-century genocides, like the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, the Nazi Holocaust, Cambodia, Saddam Hussein’s genocidal campaigns against the Kurds, Bosnia, Rwanda, Srebrenica, and Kosovo. As Power notes in the book’s conclusion, “What is most shocking about America’s reaction … is not that the United States refused to deploy U.S. ground forces to combat the atrocities. For much of the century, even the most ardent interventionists did not lobby for U.S. ground invasions. What is most shocking is that U.S. policymakers did almost nothing to deter the crime.”


from october but an interesting take considering 'everything' that's happening

America’s Russia Policy Has Failed - Here are seven things the next U.S. president should do to put Washington back in the driver’s seat - Foreign Policy

The most common U.S. policy responses to Russia — from both Republican and Democratic administrations across three decades — have depended either on the hope that Moscow can be fully defeated or that it can become a friend and fellow democracy. But Russia is not a democracy, nor is it democratizing, and although Russia may be in secular decline, it is a major power on the world stage. The next president needs to accept that Moscow cannot simply be defeated or contained in the emerging multipolar, globalized world order. It must be engaged through a comprehensive balance of cooperation and competition.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby radicalbusiness » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:30 am

ughughguhg is anyone else seeing that bullshit russian propoganda narrative from eva bartlett and US peace council? i.e. the story is the whole conflict in Syria is purely a proxy war between foreign aggressor US and gulf state coalition + al nusra versus Assad's government (supported by the syrian people). Key aspects of this narrative is complete rejection of US and international reporting / figures, newfound legitimacy in 2014 elections (??? WHY), general sympathy for Ba'ath party, and ignorance of russia's role. Several acquaintances are spreading this shit on facebook and it is actually rage inducing that people I know are drinking this kool aid.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:36 pm

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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:49 pm

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wtf have you done america!!!!!
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby adiabatic » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:08 am

I wholeheartedly endorse reading Dave Barry's Year in Review.

Sample:

In Washington, Democrats who believed in a strong president wielding power via executive orders instantly exchange these deeply held convictions with Republicans who until Election Day at roughly 10 p.m. Eastern time believed fervently in filibusters and limited government.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:09 pm

i made this so now you too can play 'populism bingo'

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simply print and mark off every time someone says or alludes to the above, whether you're getting ready for inauguration or looking forward to the many euro elections coming to us through 2017
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:24 am

@adiabatic i think you’ve 1) missed the point 2) taken the concept of bingo too seriously. most of the media and commentary in europe just now is dominated by people using / misusing / trying to define 'populism’, mostly without realising the term has a pretty broad history of useful analysis. the point of this project (which is wider than just this card) is to note phrases when they're used in the media to describe both leadership of parties / movements, but also the different constituencies they present themselves to. more broadly it's to try and help with understanding political descriptions and how they're used.

for example, le pen and the front national would claim most of the above boxes. her / their voting appeal is traditionally white working class who hark back to a time of 'old france' (heartland) and see le pen as a defender of republican secularism. she rails against horizontal government (the debates, complex checks and balances), preferring the idea of direct democracy (referendums) with a vertical framework because, according to her, it allows the 'silent majority' to speak - “i say out loud what people here are thinking”, is her common take. this relies on reducing complex policy decisions to almost binary choices (us vs. them etc) which automatically has an exclusionary narrative. It also presents 'the people' as a single entity (we've heard this in brexit too... the people have spoken, the people have told us what they want, etc).

in a similar vein to berlusconi, haider, bossi etc, she takes the charismatic leader card. she called radical islam a ticking time bomb, commenting that “i am the only one who can defuse this bomb” - not too dissimilar to the way trump has portrayed himself as the only one that 'can fix' many of america's problems (this maverick-like behaviour can hide a lack in policy – also see trump). but it also brings succession problems – le pen has found it diffiuclt to completely shake off her father, even if the party has diluted the overt fascism it once displayed. who comes after her? another family member? many other european populist parties have simply disintegrated when their leader has left the scene.

le pen's main targets are immigration and globalisation (it disrupts the heartland), european integration (dilutes french values), european bureaucrats (they're “out of touch”). EU has seen more representation but combined it with increased distance between the representative and the citizen – this has created 'frustration' and 'distrust'.

So yes, a good example. others described as 'populist' in the media however, won't tick as many boxes. the centre ground in politics starts to co-op populist terms and thinking to (in the short term) take control of the debate hoping to reclaim declining support - even if this (in the long term) is counterproductive to the maintenance of a strong liberal democracy.

but that's why populism is an interesting concept to look at – it is 'episodic' and 'reactionary' depending on the times – mostly when there is 'political instability', 'collapse in electoral turnout' and a 'scepticism' of the 'status quo'.

btw i'm not laughing at anyone. the worst thing mainstream politics can react with is ridicule / demonising etc, especially of voters who feel excluded. i've always liked the brecht poem die lösung

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers' Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby adiabatic » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:14 pm

I think I'm taking bingo as seriously as I should. After reading The Eighth Meditation on Superweapons and Bingo I got an opinion on political-opinion bingo, and now I'm against it.

The introduction:

Sometimes people complain that it's scary how oblivious the other side is to their arguments. But I know something scarier.

On r/atheism, a Christian-turned-atheist once described an "apologetics" group at his old church. The pastor would bring in a simplified straw-man version of a common atheist argument, they'd take turns mocking it ("Oh my god, he said that monkeys can give birth to humans! That's hilarious!") and then they'd all have a good laugh together. Later, when they met an actual atheist who was trying to explain evolution to them, they wouldn't sit and evaluate it dispassionately. They'd pattern-match back to the ridiculous argument they heard at church, and instead of listening they'd be thinking "Hahaha, atheists really are that hilariously stupid!"

Of course, it's not only Christians who do that. I hear atheists repeat the old "I believe the Bible because God said it was true. We know He said it was true because it's in the Bible. And I believe the Bible because God said it is true" line constantly and grin as if they've said something knee-slappingly funny. I've never in my entire life heard a Christian use this reasoning. I have heard Christians use the "truth-telling thing" argument sometimes (we should believe the Bible because the Bible is correct about many things that can be proven independently, this vouches for the veracity of the whole book, and therefore we should believe it even when it can't be independently proven) many times. If you're familiar enough with the atheist version, and uncharitable enough to Christians, you will pattern-match, miss the subtle difference, and be thinking "Hahaha, Christians really are as hilariously stupid as all my atheist friends say!"

Sometimes even the straw-man argument is unnecessary. All you need to do is get in a group and make the other side's argument a figure of fun.


In short, bingo playing encourages strawmanning. We need to waste less time attacking opponents' shoddiest arguments, especially when the biggest 'benefit' is boosting ingroup solidarity.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby saptapadi » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:42 pm

hahahahahaha
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:28 pm

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cannot believe this child will be president on friday

full transcript of the times interview - the bild one will be around too somewhere. moscow released a statement saying they agreed with president elect trump on NATO being obsolete, lmao.... christ

trump pissing off europe / berlin will potentially leave the UK in a pickle not too far down the line but maybe i'm being too pessimistic (who knows these days)

here's how one paper did the tv listing for friday...

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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:16 pm

I looked at something, uh, I’m not allowed to show you because it’s classified – but, I just looked at Afghanistan and you look at the Taliban – and you take a look at every, every year its more, more, more, you know they have the different colours – and you say, you know – what’s going on?
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby nope » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:01 pm

Absolutely delighted to hear that we've decided to "explicitly rule out membership of the EU’s single market". Hard Brexit here we come! Rainy Fascism Island, back in the driving seat of our own sad, irrelevant destiny.

Also quite entranced by the breath-taking chutzpah required to enact 6 years of ruinous, utterly ideological austerity measures and then claim that EU migration has "put pressure on public services".
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby nope » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:20 pm

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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby Vox » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:42 pm

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/ ... of-eritrea

Thought this was a very well written and insightful piece. As an Eritrean, this meant a lot to me because our country doesn't receive all that much global attention.

I've seen some really interesting stuff in this thread and I'm hoping to contribute more in the future!
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:25 pm

shouldn't be surprised but here we are

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euro papers taking a different line

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spiegel says "final proof to the rest of Europe that UK government is at once nasty and blind to reality"

the 'reaction' of corybn to this should sink any support he has left, embarrassing and hopeless

ho hum
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby bels » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:45 am

Do you mean the overwhelming support he has within the party that shows no sign of abating.

I mean I'm not crazy about him, but they tried a coup, it didn't work.. He obviously has some support... Somewhere.

He does seem useless in opposition viewed through the mainstream media though.

Hard brexit looks like a riot.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby pirxthepilot » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:39 am

interesting that none of the dire economic problems thought to be the inevitable consequence of brexit have materialised yet, remember all that osborne/lagarde stuff about house prices falling 30% etc. could be that its still to come. economic forecasting is about as post-truth as it gets though from what i understand.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby bels » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:39 am

There's still plenty of time for dire economic forecasts to come true. The idea that the world would fall over in six months was far fetched but I don't know who believed it. Surely the effects will be convoluted, far reaching, barely understandable on a human timescale? (food prices rising seems to be the main problem so far)

(There was that twitter thread in the leftwingisphere talking about how May's reasoning could be that the economic effects will be much harder to pin on her, compared to immigration stats which would be easy.)
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby pirxthepilot » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:59 am

im sure that's true but once you get into longer term prognostications it seems like all bets are off anyway? was talking to a guy from the treasury a few weeks ago who says the EU still has vast problems that have just been papered over and the very nature of the union prevents any effective solution (german banks cant do debt writeoffs because then the italians will want to do the same etc).
and thats before you get to any more populist revolts, huge youth unemployment etc.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby bels » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:40 am

Agree with you in general. Longterm (10+ years) it's a crapshoot (Who knows how the EU will cope+The intolerable lightness of populism). But there's still plenty of time within 5 years for it to go to hell. All we've done so far is vote. No article 50 engagement, no negotiations. Expecting the economy to tank overnight on a referendum and a speech is a grasp.
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Re: News/Current Events, discussion (Bullets, Ballots & Bomb

Postby rublev » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:43 am

@bels yeah i don't think it will, but it should. it's acquiescence not opposition. he seems incapable of forming a structure to hold any of tory brexit to account and i don't think that's just something to do with how he's portrayed in the media. tim farron's response at least had a bit of fight in it. the only thing worse than a 'hard brexit' is surely one where your main opposition party seems to have vacated the stage because it's too difficult? or they don't care? unelected PM who was against leaving the EU now decides 52% of population voting in a referendum dominated by spurious / vague claims means we must leave single market and customs union without any further debate or scrutiny because the british public 'have their eyes open'... (lots of open goals here) corbyn's response - "we need more detail", ffs.

this whole populist relaunch also sounds like he outsourced the strategy to a first year poli-sci student. don't get why so many people see him an authentic figure.

i agree with pirx about the economics being a bit of a minefield. the doom was really laid on thick before the referendum... now the IMF are making its second u-turn in its forecasting for UK economy. difficult to pick out drivers for it all though. how much worse would it have been if BoE had not intervened immediately post-vote? was that behaviour already factored into forecasting? is forecasting and prediction just expensive group think? flawed model or flawed system? *sips coffee* either way i think the attitudes and arguments during the referendum relied on everything being 'immediate' (whether it was economic disaster, or leaving the EU) - reality is that most things will be slow and uncertain for quite a long time. i'd imagine the far reaching economic consequences aren't even being tweeted about yet...maybe...
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